Students are introduced to scene work performance through a simple, contentless scene unit. In this unit, performers will use exercises like “Show and Tell” to learn how to fill in the gaps of a story by creating scenarios and detailed characters with backgrounds.

Students will further fill in the gaps by exploring environmental and physical conflict as well as stage business. The lesson “Thou Shalts of Staging” will guide students through basic staging and performance technique.

Overview

The overview lay outs pre-unit discussion questions and outlines the lessons and materials in this seven lesson unit as well as post-unit reflection questions.

1: Introduction

Have students create a situation from a picture and examine the given clues to help fill in the gaps. Next, have students examine the clues in a contentless scene, then fill in the gaps to create their own scenario to perform.


2: Show and Tell Characterization

Students will use “Show and Tell” to create a detailed background for their contentless scene character and improvise a personal interview with that character.


3: Thou Shalts of Staging and Performance

Students will participate in a demonstration to explore the rules of staging and performance and why they are important. They will perform a Bad Idea/Good Idea skit for the class, to demonstrate their understanding of the concept.


4: Environmental and Personal Conflict

Students will play a drama game and participate in an exercise to explore how conflict affects their active tactics. Students apply conflict to a scene for performance.

5: Stage Business

Students will participate in an observation activity and play “What Are You Doing?” to explore how stage business affects performance. In this lesson, you will coach students through a scene with stage business, then they will apply stage business to their own performances.

6: Contentless Scene - Preview Day

Students review what they have studied in this unit as well as how to give and use constructive feedback. Students will pair up with another scene group, then perform for each other. Students will use the Preview Worksheet to help guide and assess their previews and critiques.


7: Final Performance

Students will perform and be evaluated on the contentless scene that they have prepared during the unit.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards


Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr4.1.7.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr4.1.8.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr5.1.HSII.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 7

TH:Pr6.1.7.a - Participate in rehearsals for a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.a - Demonstrate focus and concentration in the rehearsal process to analyze and refine choices in a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr6.1.HSI.a - Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.b - Synthesize ideas from research, script analysis, and context to create a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant in a drama/theatre work.

Common Core


California VAPA Standards (2019)


7.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

7.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

8.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Acc.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

Acc.TH:Pr5.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

7.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

67TH:Pr6 - Create through improvisation a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Prof.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Prof.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted short drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

Florida Sunshine State Standards


Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts


Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts


MS 117.211 LI - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.F - create environments, characters, and actions.

HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.D - analyze dramatic structure and genre.

Alberta, Canada


Theatre Studies Drama 30 (Early or Middle or Late drama)

4 - recognize dramatic structure of a play

Improvisation/Acting Level II - Intermediate

21 - sustain a character throughout an exercise or scene